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Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

A Unified Global Moment to Honor Malala Yousafzai

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 7, 2012

By Gordon Brown,  Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

On November 10th we will celebrate ‘Malala Day,’ the moment the whole world honors the sacrifice of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by the Taliban simply for trying to go to school.

Fortunately, Malala is starting on the road to recovery and Malala Day, one month after Malala was left for dead by Taliban assassins, is an opportunity for people everywhere to come together to support the cause that Malala so valiantly represents: a girl’s right to education.

The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world. Girls, boys, the marginalized, rural children, child laborers — the hopes of these 61 million are represented by the struggle and voice of Malala. November 10th is our opportunity to continue to speak out in support of Malala’s vision of every child in school, learning and reaching their full potential.

This Saturday, on Malala Day, new initiatives will be announced in support of Malala and in support of the cause she has risked her life for.

The Malala Yousafzai Children’s Education Institute, named in honor of Malala, will be announced to help educate the world on the need for universal education. The Malala Institute, supported by the Good Planet Foundation, will publish research reports leading the fight for education for every child still denied the right to school.

NGOs such as Plan International are already stepping up their efforts to educate girls. I have also been approached by dedicated teachers and philanthropists wishing to start Malala schools.

While the final figures will not be announced until Saturday, already some one million people have signed petitions urging Pakistan to ensure every girl has a place at school and calling for the United Nations to continue the advance of universal education. Read the rest of this entry »

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TIME Exclusive: Q&A with Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

Ahmad Jamshid / AP

AHMAD JAMSHID / AP
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a joint press conference with her Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rasool, unseen, at the foreign ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2012.

Since she was appointed as Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in July of 2011, Hina Rabbani Khar has had to deal with the fallout from the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, a deterioration in relations with Afghanistan, and a botched cross border operation that saw 24 Pakistani soldiers mistakenly killed by U.S. forces in November. She is Pakistan’s youngest and first female foreign minister. On the eve of her first high-profile visit to Kabul since the assassination of Afghan peace envoy Berhanuddin Rabbani (no relation), she talks about her country’s relationship with Afghanistan, the U.S., and with its own army.

(READ: NATO report says Pakistan is still propping up the Taliban.)

TIME: What prompted your trip to Kabul?

Hina Rabbani Khar: As Foreign Minister of Pakistan, I would say that the most important capital in the world is Kabul. If this track works, if Pakistan and Afghanistan can work with confidence in each other’s intentions and actions, we can go a very long way. With that trust we can fix a lot of things and will not need outside influence and interference. Therefore we would be open to engage with Afghanistan at any level and at any time. Since 2008 [when the elected government came to power] we have given a very consistent message to Afghanistan that we mean business, that we would want to support anything that Afghans feel is for their betterment. They have to choose the direction, and we would be behind them following that direction. Read the rest of this entry »

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Taliban Will Control Afghanistan With Support From Pakistan, Says Leaked Report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 2, 2012

By Hamid Shalizi and Mirwais Harooni

KABUL, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said in a secret report the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw from the country, raising the prospect of a major failure of western policy after a costly war.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the existence of the document, reported by Britain’s Times newspaper and the BBC. But he said it was not a strategic study.

“The classified document in question is a compilation of Taliban detainee opinions,” he said. “It’s not an analysis, nor is it meant to be considered an analysis.”

Nevertheless, it could be interpreted as a damning assessment of the war, now dragging into its eleventh year and aimed at blocking a Taliban return to power.

It could also be seen as an admission of defeat and could reinforce the view of Taliban hardliners that they should not negotiate with the United States and President Hamid Karzai’s unpopular government while in a position of strength.

The U.S. military said in the document Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) security agency was assisting the Taliban in directing attacks against foreign forces.

The allegation drew a strong response from Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit. “This is frivolous, to put it mildly,” he told Reuters. “We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarkozy Unexpectedly Calls Earlier French Troop Exit From Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 29, 2012

By BRUCE CRUMLEY

JOEL SAGET / AFP / GETTY IMAGES French soldiers from the 1st Infantry Regiment return to the Nijrab FOB (Forward Operating Base) military base in Tora, in the Surobi province in Afghanistan, on Dec. 31, 2011.

So it turns out France is indeed leaving Afghanistan earlier than planned, and will seek to bring the last of its current 3,900 troops home by the end of 2013. Despite signs earlier in the week from French government officials indicating no premature pullout was in the works (and stories like mine explaining why that was the case), French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday announced he’d draw French troops down a year ahead of the current 2014 NATO departure date—and will moreover urge Alliance partners to replicate France’s stepped-up hand-over of security duties to Afghan forces.

Sarkozy’s decision came after a meeting with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai. It also occurred one week after Sarkozy threatened to pull French forces from Afghanistan after four unarmed French troopers were gunned down in a fortified base by an allied Afghan army soldier. Infuriated at those killings—which came less than a month after two other French soldiers were killed by presumably friendly Afghan forces—Sarkozy suspended training of and joint patrols with Afghan units. He also said he’d consider withdrawing France’s entire contingent rapidly if the risk from  Afghan allies couldn’t be diminished. In making their comments in Paris Friday, Karzai and Sarkozy sought to allay fears that moves were afoot to bring the NATO operation to an end before its current 2014 deadline. But they also said the ability and numbers of Afghan forces had increased to the point where they could now assume responsibility for the country’s security ahead of the current NATO time table. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama’s new fairytale: Peace and prosperity for war-bent US

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 25, 2012

As the US presidential race picks up pace ahead of November’s vote, Barack Obama is trying to ratchet up support for re-election. In his third State of the Union speech, he pledged another program for change.

President Obama’s Tuesday night address to Congress was his final State of the Union speech before he runs for re-election. It was crafted by the White House to set the tone for the 2012 congressional session, and for the re-election campaign. Obama’s goal was to highlight his achievements, and lay out his promises.

The president started his address praising those who fought in Iraq, “generation of heroes” who “have made the United States safer and more respected around the world.”

Indeed, the speech was full of success stories.

“For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al-Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home,” the president said.  Read the rest of this entry »

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1 Gurkha against 30 Taliban wins Conspicuous Gallantry Cross

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 12, 2012

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Taliban Opening Qatar Office, and Maybe Door to Talks

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 4, 2012

Tayeb Agha, seated at center, a former secretary to the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, speaking to reporters in 2001 in Spinbaldak, Afghanistan. American and German negotiators began intermittent talks with Mr. Agha early last year.

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

KABUL, Afghanistan — Giving a first major public sign that they may be ready for formal talks with the American-led coalition in Afghanistan, the Taliban announced Tuesday that they had struck a deal to open a political office in Qatar that could allow for direct negotiations over the endgame in the Afghan war.

The step was a reversal of the Taliban’s longstanding public denials that they were involved in, or even willing to consider, talks related to their insurgency, and it had the potential to revive a reconciliation effort that stalled in September, with the assassination of the head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council.

It was unclear, however, whether the Taliban were interested in working toward a comprehensive peace settlement or mainly in ensuring that NATO ends its operations in Afghanistan as scheduled in 2014, which would remove a major obstacle to the Taliban’s return to power in all or part of the country.

In a statement, Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said that along with a preliminary deal to set up the office in Qatar, the group was asking that Taliban detainees held at the American prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, be released. Mr. Mujahid did not say when the Qatar office would be opened, or give specifics about the prisoners the Taliban wanted freed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan snubs Pentagon’s share-the-blame report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 23, 2011

The Pentagon in Washington D.C. (AFP Photo)

Islamabad has rejected a US report on the NATO air strike which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month. Washington hoped taking part of the blame would persuade Pakistan to reopen military supply routes to its troops in Afghanistan.

In a statement on Friday, Pakistan’s military said the inquiry report was “short on facts.”

“Pakistan’s army does not agree with the findings of the US/NATO inquiry as being reported in the media,” the statement said, adding that a detailed response would be given after the top brass had read the full report.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon published the results of its investigation into the November 26 cross-border air strike on Pakistani forces. The US said a lack of coordination with Pakistan’s military on the part of the NATO coalition in Afghanistan and incorrect mapping information were to blame. The Pentagon expressed “deepest regrets” over the loss of life.

In a separate statement by the State Department, the US said it hoped that Islamabad would lift its blockade on the transportation of military cargo to Afghanistan through its territory. The transit route was barred to US forces in response to the November incident.

Tensions between Islamabad and Washington have been escalating since the killing in May of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by American commandos. Since then the two countries, which had been close allies in the war on terror, have repeatedly lashed out at each other. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear war between Pakistan, US closer than many realize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2011

 

Recently, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen testified before Congress that Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which has supposedly been an ally to the U.S., has actually supported terrorist actions by al-Qaeda and the Haqqani syndicate. In light of this, some media sources believe that the U.S. should be prepared for war against Pakistan.

‘Pakistan is the enemy,’ writes Hitchens

The writing is on the wall, suggests Christopher Hitchens in Slate. Pakistani intelligence is known to have aided the Taliban and provided refuge for Osama bin Laden during his final days in Abbottabad. The New York reports that a 2007 ambush on American and Afghan soldiers in a Pakistani border town was a “complex, calculated assault” arranged by Pakistani military. Various border skirmishes involving “unknown assailants” are believed to have been ISI-backed Taliban militants, but exact details remain classified.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan Suicide Bombing Kills Contractors And Coalition Troops

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 30, 2011


This is the war with no winner, but only looser.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan War: Ex-Commander Stanley McChrystal Says U.S. Started War With ‘Frighteningly Simplistic’ View Of Country

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 8, 2011


War must be to change ourselves and not to change others. We need Movement to help to change others. War to change others could bring series of wars. Let’s try to change ourselves first. This could be the only way to change the world to save for our future generation­s.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Taliban ‘Targeting Nato Headquarters And US Embassy In Kabul’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 13, 2011


Game without winner. Compromise is the best way. There is no other better option for the better world.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan Truck Bombing: Taliban Target American Base

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 11, 2011


Let’s start new era handshakin­g each other rather than targeting each other. Only this can save human civilizati­on.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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How 9/11 Provoked the U.S. to Hasten its Own Decline

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 9, 2011

by 

The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York, September 11, 2001. (Photo: Marty Lederhandler / AP)

During his first year in office, President George W. Bush was confronted by the key strategic challenge facing the United States in the new century, in an incident that began with the diversion of a U.S. aircraft — by Chinese fighter planes, which forced a U.S. Navy spy plane to land on the island of Hainan after a collision that downed a Chinese jets, killing its pilot. What followed was a tense 11-day standoff between Washington and Beijing, serving an early warning that China’s emergence as an economic superpower would inevitably alter the geopolitical balance of power in Asia, and globally.

But then came 9/11 — a mass-casualty terrorist provocation on an unprecedented scale — and the Bush Administration convinced itself, and much of America, that the world had changed. The new president had found his “calling” in a campaign to “rid the world of evil doers”, declaring a “war on terrorism” that would become the leitmotif and singular obsession of U.S. foreign policy for the remainder of his presidency — a presidency that despite massive, kinetic displays of military force, left the U.S. strategically weaker at its close than when Bush entered the Oval Office.

“We’d always treated terrorist attacks before primarily as a law enforcement problem… going after and finding the guilty party, bring them to trial and put them in the slammer,” Vice President Dick Cheney told TIME in an interview published in this week’s edition. “After 9/11, you couldn’t look on those as just law enforcement problems anymore. It was clearly an act of war. And that’s a significant shift. You’re going to use all of the means available…”

But while the scale and brutality of the attacks might have been akin to an act of war, 9/11 was the work of a tiny network of transnational extremists, founded on the remnants of the Arab volunteers who’d fought in the U.S.-backed Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. Read the rest of this entry »

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US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 20, 2011

America and Afghanistan are close to signing a strategic pact which would allow thousands of United States troops to remain in the country until at least 2024, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

By , Kabul

The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build up the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain.

The prospect of such a deal has already been met with anger among Afghanistan’s neighbours including, publicly, Iran and, privately, Pakistan.

It also risks being rejected by the Taliban and derailing any attempt to coax them to the negotiating table, according to one senior member of Hamid Karzai’s peace council.

A withdrawal of American troops has already begun following an agreement to hand over security for the country to Kabul by the end of 2014.

But Afghans wary of being abandoned are keen to lock America into a longer partnership after the deadline. Many analysts also believe the American military would like to retain a presence close to Pakistan, Iran and China.

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